SpaceX launches 53 Starlink satellites, lands Falcon 9 on droneship

SpaceX launched a batch of Starlink satellites on Sunday (July 24) in what was the fifth launch for the program in July alone, and the company's 33rd launch of 2022.

SpaceX launched 53 Starlink internet satellites loaded aboard the Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off at 9:38 a.m. EDT (1338 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

At roughly eight minutes and 45 seconds after liftoff, the Falcon 9's first stage made a successful landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas stationed nearby in the Atlantic Ocean.

Related: SpaceX breaks launch record as it sends 46 Starlink satellites into space Friday

This Starlink launch follows a successful effort from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California Friday (July 22). 

That blastoff brought 46 Starlink satellites to orbit, and the rocket's first stage softly touched down on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean 8.5 minutes after launch. It was the second attempt to launch Starlink Group 3-2 to orbit following an abort induced by the Falcon 9 rocket at T-46 seconds on Thursday (July 21).

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket shortly after landing on a droneship at sea on Sunday (July 24). (Image credit: SpaceX via YouTube)

SpaceX's last Starlink launch from the east coast took place about a week ago on Sunday (July 17), from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station just down the road from KSC.

Starlink, the satellite Internet service from SpaceX, includes roughly 2,900 Starlink satellites launched to date. Starlink Group 4-25 adds on to previous launches this month from both the west and east coasts of the United States.

The company is working to amp up service quickly. It has regulatory approval to put at least 12,000 Starlink in orbit and is asking for an international regulator to loft another 30,000 satellites after that.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:57 p.m. EDT on July 24 with news of the successful liftoff and rocket landing.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: